Butts, Ratliff Named Senior CLASS Award Candidates
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A pair of Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse players – midfielder Davis Butts and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff – were named two of 20 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award on Wednesday.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Loyola was the only team nationally to have two candidates this year.
Last season, Butts and Ratliff helped lead Loyola to its first-ever NCAA Division I Championship and earned All-America honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association in the process. Ratliff garnered Third Team honors, while Butts received honorable mention.
The duo both earned recognition on the Preseason All-America team this year, Ratliff on the Second Team and Butts the third. Both were selected in the Major League Lacrosse draft prior to the season. Ratliff was the first selection of the second round, ninth overall, by the Boston Cannons, Butts was taken 19th overall in the third round by the Denver Outlaws.
Ratliff continues to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. He finished 2012 with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan’s previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995.
In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.
Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row in 2012. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.
In the 2013 season opener last Saturday against the University of Delaware, Butts scored a goal and had an assist while picking up five ground balls and causing two turnovers. Ratliff had a transition goal and a team-best six ground balls against the Blue Hens.
The pair have both participated in numerous community service opportunities at Loyola, particularly in the student-run “Homeless Hookups.” In that program, Loyola students, and Butts and Ratliff, meet disadvantaged men and women in Downtown Baltimore, providing food, friendship and fellowship.
This year, both Ratliff and Butts are both team captains for the 2013 Greyhounds, a capacity Ratliff served in last year.
Ratliff, a communication major with an emphasis in public relations and advertising, was a member of the Dean’s List in the Fall 2012 semester, and he has also led youth lacrosse clinics for inner-city students in his native Georgia.
Off the field, Butts is a business administration major and the co-founder of Clean Guys Laundry, LLC, a company that provides delivery laundry and dry cleaning to students at several Baltimore-area colleges. Despite the demands on his time as a student-athlete, Butts has helped the company flourish by organizing the logistics of the deliveries and pick-ups, tracking the company’s financials and responding to customer service inquiries.
Fellow ECAC Lacrosse League players Sam Snow of Fairfield University and Logan Schuss of The Ohio State University joined Butts and Ratliff as candidates for the award. The ECAC is tied with the Patriot League and Ivy League with the most nominees this year, four.
Butts and Ratliff are the first Loyola men’s lacrosse players to be candidates for the award, and they are the eighth and ninth student-athletes from the school in all sports to be candidates. Earlier this year, women’s soccer’s Nichole Schiro and men’s basketball’s Robert Olson were candidates in their sports.
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Philadelphia May 25-27.